Together, Twitter and Facebook account for billions of users. But with LinkedIn becoming a major B2B force and sites like Google Plus, Tumblr and Pinterest growing, social media management is becoming complex. Automation is key to getting your message out clearly and effectively without succumbing to ever-increasing time investments. What is social media automation? Simply put, it involves using an application to plan, write, and schedule posts in advance. Some brands develop social schedules a week ahead of time, while others might have certain posts ready months into the future. Apps also aggregate mentions of your social accounts so you can reply quickly.
With social automation, you:
- Save time on social media management.
- Keep your social presence more consistent.
- Recognize and respond to opportunities.
Five Steps to Getting Started With Social Media Automation
Automation is only as effective as how you use it. Before you can implement social media automation, you need to have a firm understanding of your customers, how they use social platforms, and what they expect from you.
Time Your Posts to Capture Engagement
In many cases, posts queued to execute when your customers are most active online – generally, right before or after work, or on weekends – will be most successful. Gathering a few weeks of analytics data will uncover your customers’ unique patterns, making automation more useful.
Understand How Users Talk About You
Users might not @mention you, but could still be having relevant conversations. Each week, take time to learn about trending hashtags and determine which ones might be related to your company. Then, set up notifications so you can respond appropriately.
Don’t Automate Every Response!
Automation is convenient, but should be used with discretion. If you develop a stock message to reply to every @mention, people will notice. You can automate posts to your account, but humans should handle customer interaction.
Customize Messages to Each Platform
Twitter is famous for its character limit, but other networks have their own quirks. Blasting one message to every platform might not be the right method. Tailoring posts to the nuances of each is best.
Learn Your Automation Tool Well
While there are many social automation apps out there, no program provides coverage for every social platform. It’s important to research the different tools available to find the right one for your needs.
In an ideal world, a social media expert would handcraft every post and response. Timely, personalized communication is still key to maximizing ROI, but the social world is growing and consistency counts. Automation brings structure to your social strategy so you can focus effort where it matters most.